North Eastern Europe - The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques And Discoveries Of The English Nation - Volume 3 - Collected By Richard Hakluyt


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Collected by


and Editied by

Edmund Goldsmid, F.R.H.S





Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries IN NORTH-EASTERN EUROPE.

A briefe Treatise of the great Duke of Moscouia his genealogie, being taken out of the Moscouites manuscript Chronicles written by a Polacke.

It hath almost euer bene the custome of nations, in searching out the infancie and first beginnings of their estate, to ascribe the same vnto such authors as liued among men in great honour and endued mankinde with some one or other excellent benefite. Nowe, this inbred desire of all nations to blaze and set foorth their owne petigree hath so much preuayled with the greater part, that leauing the vndoubted trueth, they haue betaken themselues vnto meere fables and fictions. Yea and the Chronicles of many nations written in diuers and sundrie ages doe testifie the same. Euen so the Grecians boasted that they were either Autocthones, that is earthbredde, or els lineally descended from the Gods. And the Romans affirme that Mars was father vnto their first founder Romulus. Right well therefore and iudicially sayth Titus Liuius: Neither meane I to auouch (quoth he) ne to disable or confute those thinges which before the building and foundation of the Citie haue beene reported, being more adorned and fraught with Poeticall fables then with incorrupt and sacred monuments of trueth: antiquitie is it to be pardoned in this behalfe, namely in ioyning together matters historicall and poeticall, to make the beginnings of cities to seeme the more honourable. For sith antiquity it selfe is accompted such a notable argument of true nobility, euen priuate men in all ages haue contended thereabout. Wherefore citizens of Rome being desirous to make demonstration of their Gentrie, vse to haue their auncestors armes painted along the walles of their houses: in which regarde they were so puffed vp, that oftentimes they would arrogantly disdaine those men, which by their owne vertue had attained vnto honour. In like sorte Poets, when the originall of their woorthies and braue champions was either vtterly vnknowen or somewhat obscure, would ofte referre it vnto their Gods themselues. So in these our dayes (to lette passe others) the Turkish Emperour with great presumption boasteth himselfe to bee descended of the Troian blood. Likewise the great duke of Moscouie, to make himselfe and his predecessours seeme the more souereigne, deriueth the beginnings of his parentage from the Romane Emperours, yea euen from Augustus Caesar. Albeit therefore no man is so fonde as to accept of this report for trueth, yet will wee briefly set downe what the Moscouites haue written in their Chronicles as touching this matter.

Augustus (beleeue it who listeth) had certaine brethren or kinsfolkes which were appoynted gouenours ouer diuers prouinces. Amongst the rest one Prussus (of whome Prussia was named) had his place of gouernment assigned vnto him vpon the shore of the eastern or Balthick Sea, and vpon the famous riuer of Wixel. This mans graund children or nephewes of the fourth generation were Rurek, Sinaus, and Truuor, who likewise inhabited in the very same places. Whereas therefore, at the very same time the Russians or the Moscquites without any ciuill regiment possessed large and spacious territories towards the north, the foresayd three brethren, vpon the perswasion of one Gostomislius the chiefe citizen of Nouogrod, in the yeare since the worldes creation (acording to the computation of the Greekes) 6370, which was in the yeare of our Lord 572, were sent for, to beare rule. And so ioyning their kinsman Olechus vnto them, and diuiding these huge countreys among themselues, they laboured to reduce the barbarous and sauage people vnto a ciuill kinde of life.

Sinaus and Truuor deceasing without issue, Rurek succeeded and left a sonne behinde him named Igor; who not being of sufficient yeres to beare rule, was committed vnto the protection of his kinsman Olechus. The sayde Igor begate of Olha daughter vnto a citizen of Plesco (who, after her husbande was slaine by his enemies, taking her iourney to Constantinople, was there baptized by the name of Helena) a sonne called Stoslaus, who fought many battels with the neighbour countreys. Howbeit at length Stoslaus was slayne by his foe, who making a drinking cup of his skull, engraued therupon in golden letters this sentence: Seeking after other mens he lost his owne. He left behind him three sonnes, namely Teropolchus, Olega, and Vulodimir. The which Vulodimir hauing slaine his two brethren, became sole gouernour of Russia, or (as the Moscouites call it) Rosseia, his owne selfe. This man beginning at length to loath and mislike the ethnik religion, and the multitude of false gods, applyed his minde vnto the religion of Christ, and hauing taken to wife Anna sister vnto Basilius and Constantinus Emperours of Constantinople, was together with his whole nation, in the yeare of Christ 988. baptized, and imbraced the Christian religion, with the rites and ceremonies of the Greeke Church, and his name being changed, he was called Basilius.

Howbeit Zonoras reporteth that before the time of Vulodimir, Basilius Emperour of Constantinople sent a bishop vnto the Russians, by whose meanes they were conuerted vnto the Christian faith. He reporteth moreouer that they would not be perswaded vnlesse they might see a miracle: whereupon the said bishop hauing made his prayers vnto almighty God, threwe the booke of the Euangelists into the fire, which remained there vnconsumed. And that by this miracle they were moued to giue credits vnto the doctrine of Christ, and to conforme themselues thereunto.

The sonnes of Vulodimir were Vuiseslaus, Isoslaus, Iaroslaus, Suatopolcus, Borissus, Glebus, Stoslaus, Vulzeuolodus, Stanislaus, Sudislaus, and Podius who died in his childhood. Amongst the residue all Russia was diuided by their father, who not being contented with their portions, but inuading each other, were most of them slaine by their mutuall contentions.

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